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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2360 ratings

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4 stars So the lucky question of the day is "how does a band come up with four twenty-minute suites and record them in a period of one year?" Well, Yes, having conquered after Close to the Edge was a success, took everything further with Tales From Topographic Oceans, their most ambitious projecy, and apparently a black-white double album. Now this review is solely a personal one, but I actually was captivated by the mystery here. The four tracks move together like a four-piece symphony, one after the other, and the passages are simply beautiful musically. Guitarist Steve Howe is the standout here musically, with some strong rhythm and lead lines throughout, especially on "The Ancient." Alan White is on drums for the first time, and there are points where he seems uncomfortable (I have a Bruford preference also), but White is quite solid nonetheless. Chris Squire remains, well, Chris Squire, one of rock's most creative and talented bassists ever. Rick Wakeman's keyboards are more melodic and atmospheric this time around, which sounds nice, but that should help clarify why he left Yes after this album. The big Achilles on Tales From Topographic Oceans is that Jon Anderson, who still shines vocally, is a bit more nonsensical in terms of his lyrics. Then again, this time around Anderson and Howe both were responsible for the themes to each of these; are Eastern religions intense? There's no true favorite of the bunch, though it can start to wear on the ears depending on the listener. Four twenty-minute tracks will not be easy to stomach in one sitting; it's better to listen to at least two tracks at a time in my perspective. Things started to tumble a bit after this album, but if you are a consummate progressive-period Yes fan, this is necessary for a collection. 78/100: VERY GOOD
CVoss | 4/5 |


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